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drainage under PICC dressings

My hospital has started a central line team to observe and troubleshoot all central lines housewide- every day. We are changing dressings if needed. WE orginally were changing dressings with any amount and type of drainage. But for some patients we were changing dressings everyday-which is probably not a good idea. so, then we started to change dressings only if there was more than a scant amount of drainage. I have done a pretty extensive literature search and can not find any literature to support dressing changes for drainage one way or another. Please, let me know what you think.


Diane Bare


Drainage is a very broad

Drainage is a very broad term. Is this blood oozing from the puncture site? Is it perspiration due to elevated temps? Is it purulent drainage indicating an exit site infection? The management would be quite different for each type. If you have an infected exit site, that catheter should be removed immediately. If perspiration, you may have no choice but to change it as soon as it is wet or non-adherent, regardless of whether this is 2 hours or 24 hours. If oozing blood, there are products that can control this such as hemostatic dressing materials. So you must know exactly what you are dealing with and avoid lumping all this into one category with the same management for each. Lynn

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

thank you for your comments.

thank you for your comments. you are right.

I guess I should have been more specific. I think we will start to place surgifoam on all sites even with a scant amount of bloody drainage. I get the rest of the drainage issues but was struggling with the bloody drainage piece. THanks!!!


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